Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Government News

May 6, 2011

Education Reforms Now Law

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma — We have entered the final month of this year’s legislative session with much work still ahead of us. Finalizing this year’s state budget and redistricting are the primary tasks that remain. Progress on each is slowly occurring, and I will keep you updated as proposals are publicly advanced.

However, I am proud to say several important measures have already been signed into law, including education reform legislation.

I have discussed these issues previously, and am proud to see them become law.

Under House Bill 1456, Oklahoma’s public schools would be given an annual grade of “A” to “F” based on student performance on state tests.

Under the new law, 33 percent of a school’s grade would be based upon student test scores, 17 percent on learning gains in reading and mathematics, 17 percent on improvement of the lowest 25th percentile of students in the school in reading and mathematics, and 33 percent on whole school improvement.

For middle school grades and elementary school grades, total school improvement will be based upon the drop-out rate, the percentage of students taking higher level coursework at a satisfactory or higher level, and any other factors selected by the superintendent of public instruction.

This is an important reform. The letter-grading system will provide parents a measurable, concrete and clear apples-to-apples comparison between local schools. It will help identify both success stories and areas of need in our school system, and incentivize improvement. I believe this reform will foster greater collaboration among schools so that successful strategies will be duplicated to the benefit of all Oklahoma students.

Another reform signed into law requires grade school students to master reading skills before advancing to more challenging courses.

Senate Bill 346 effectively ends “social promotion” and instead requires early intervention to help children master reading and keep them from permanently falling behind their peers. Children who struggle with reading struggle with all subject areas in higher-level grades. I believe this reform will reduce the number of dropouts in our school system and focus more attention on children with the greatest needs.

Text Only
Government News
  • Weeding Process Continues At Capitol

    The first major deadline of the legislative session has now passed with work on House bills in the chamber completed on March 15.

    March 22, 2012

  • DHS Reforms Advance

    This week was the last one for House bills to be considered in their chamber of origin, and we took up several major issues.

    Among the most important were measures reforming the Department of Human Services.

    March 15, 2012

  • Annual GAO Report Exposes More Duplication in the Federal Budget, Less Responsibility Coming Out of Washington

    Members of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs, Chairman Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT), Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-ME), and Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statements today regarding the second annual Government Accountability Office (GAO) report identifying ongoing duplication and areas for costs savings throughout the federal government.

    February 28, 2012

  • Roberts Seeks Local Control on Meth Issue

    Legislation filed by state Rep. Sean Roberts would allow local communities to impose ordinances designed to reduce meth crime.

                House Bill 2802, by Roberts, would allow towns to decide if the meth ingredient pseudoephedrine should require a prescription.

    February 24, 2012

  • Lawmakers Focus on Meth Problem

    The challenge of combating methamphetamine was a major focus of lawmakers this week. Two significant bills were voted on in House committee. One failed, and one progressed.

    February 23, 2012

  • Coburn, Burr Unveil Plan to Save Medicare, the Seniors’ Choice Act

    Today, U.S. Senators Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) and Richard Burr (R-NC) unveiled the Seniors’ Choice Act, a legislative proposal to help America’s seniors by building a stronger, more sustainable Medicare program through immediate and longer-term reforms, many rooted in long-standing, bipartisan ideas. Non-partisan experts have warned the current Medicare program is facing insolvency due to unsustainable growth, and the Seniors’ Choice Act would fix its shortcomings so that it remains a viable option for seniors participating in the program now and for future enrollees.

    February 16, 2012

  • Fallin highlights more cuts to Oklahma income tax

    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin provided more details of her plan to cut the personal income tax for all Oklahomans during her State of the State address to lawmakers on Monday, but had few specifics on how she plans to pay for the ambitious proposal.

    February 6, 2012

  • Lawmaker seeks spending limit on Okla. Legislature

    An Oklahoma lawmaker is pushing legislation that would place new constitutional limits on state spending.

    Republican state Rep. Elise Hall of Oklahoma City says that Oklahoma's public sector could grow too fast without more spending limits.

    January 27, 2012

  • 2011 Wastebook Dr. Coburn Releases New Report on Wasteful Government Spending in 2011:

    U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) today released a new oversight report, “Wastebook 2011” that highlights over $6.5 billion in examples of some of the most egregious ways your taxpayer dollars were wasted. This report details 100 of the countless unnecessary, duplicative and low-priority projects spread throughout the federal government. 

     

    December 20, 2011 1 Photo

  • House unveils DHS strategy

    House Speaker Kris Steele and a bipartisan group of five representatives today unveiled the first steps of a strategy to reform the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

    The House’s aggressive, four-pronged strategy is designed to improve DHS through significant study of and potential reforms to governance structure, agency structure, personnel policy and resource allocation. The plan is in response to a shared desire between House members, agency officials and other stakeholders to improve delivery of services by DHS, particularly for children in state custody.

    October 19, 2011

Business Marquee

e-Edition
  • How You Want It When You Want It Today's Pauls Valley Democrat

    Now you can view and download the Democrat right to your desktop on the day the paper is published. Click here to get more information on the Democrat's e-Edition.

     

    CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE E-EDITION SITE

     

    ATTENTION CURRENT DEMOCRAT SUBSCRIBERS TO START an e-EDITION

    e-mail request to sjohnson@pvdemocrat.com

    April 20, 2011 1 Photo 1 Link

AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands
Stocks
Facebook